London Dungeon Suffer Severe Blacklash After Series of Vulgar Valentine's Tweets
|Img: The Guardian|
For those not in the know, London Dungeon is a popular, but utterly freakish, horrifying tourist attraction that definitely didn't traumatise me as a child. Through a combination of effects, actors and (ugh) mannequins, it seeks to recreate the grim, disease ridden depths of the city's past.
It's been a London institution for 40 years, so you would think that the social media promotion would be a bit of a no-brainer. The odd discounted ticket code here, the odd competition there, no fuss, no muss. When you actually scroll through their Twitter feed though, it becomes evident that they actually take social media promotion pretty seriously.
They banter back and forth with other pages, riff on popular memes and news items and generally try their utmost to make London Dungeon seem cool and savvy. It's a little bit amusing, and largely harmless. Or, at least, it was, until Valentine's Day rolled around.
They posted a series of memes, formatted in the 'parental advisory' black on white style, blending modern, romance-related terms with references to Victorian London horror. That doesn't sound so bad, until you realise that Victorian London horror includes the violent slaughter of prostitutes.
Missed @dungeon_london's delightful Valentine's Day social media campaign yesterday. The whole thing is sexist but these are the standouts. pic.twitter.com/DwoFD9j7if— EastEndWomen'sMuseum (@EEWomensMuseum) February 15, 2017
One post read "What's the difference between your job and a dead prostitute's? Your job still sucks!", while another said "Jack the Ripper just messaged. He wants to Netflix and kill.". Just about the only thing you can say in defence of either of those is that they're context appropriate, but then you get this: "I love a girl that's a good eater. Female translation: you're fat."
The backlash was swift, brutal, and completely justified. The Dungeon soon took the posts down, and replaced them with an apology Tweet. That's all well and good, but the question still remains - how did anyone ever think that this bizarre campaign was a good idea?
The first thing to consider is that the London Dungeon is a family attraction, so promoting it with references to murdering sex workers probably isn't going to hit the right target. I'm not sure what the target audience is for that kind of humour, but whoever they are it's probably unwise to accept a dinner invitation from them.
We recognise that we’ve upset some people and for that we’re very sorry. pic.twitter.com/RW8d4VRC8D— The London Dungeon (@Dungeon_London) February 15, 2017
Even without an explanation on record (though many people on Facebook and Twitter are demanding one), it's possible to trace the cause of the problem, at least as far as the first two posts go, but the third is just outright cruel, and not linked to the history of London in any way I can figure out. It just seems to be mean for the sake of mean.
Corporate Twitter backlashes are ten a penny, but this is the worst one in quite some time, and it very pointedly highlights the need for meticulous quality control when posting on social media. This, to me, would seem to be the result of leaving it entirely in the hands of one person, who by the looks of things might need to go and see a therapist. And then start looking for a new job.
Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @Songbird_Callum
London Dungeon Suffer Severe Blacklash After Series of Vulgar Valentine's Tweets Reviewed by Callum Davies on Thursday, February 16, 2017 Rating: